Almost all expats are required to take the German naturalisation test as part of their application for German citizenship.
What is the German naturalisation test?
As well as providing certification of German language ability to B1 level, since September 2008 anyone applying for German citizenship by naturalisation is required to demonstrate knowledge of Germany’s legal and social order and living conditions. This requirement is fulfilled by successfully taking the naturalisation test.
This examination lasts an hour and consists of 33 multiple-choice questions. The questions are taken from a bank of 300 questions concerning the themes “living in a democracy”, “history and responsibility” and “people and society”. Three of the questions also relate to the federal state (Land) in which you live.
In order to pass the test, you need to answer 17 out of the 33 questions correctly. If you answer fewer than 17 questions correctly, you can retake the test. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the naturalisation test.
If you pass the test, you will receive a certificate with your result from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. This can be submitted to the naturalisation authorities as proof of your civic knowledge when applying for German citizenship.
Where can I take the naturalisation test?
You will need to attend an examination at your local test centre. The tests are usually scheduled regularly throughout the year. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees provides lists of local test centres in each federal state. If you are unsure where to go, speak to the authority responsible for citizenship matters in your state. If you are unsure who this is, your local citizens' office (Bürgeramt) can advise you. Remember that you will need to bring some identification with you on the day you take the test.
Exceptions to German naturalisation test requirement
Almost everyone will have to take the naturalisation test if they are applying for citizenship by naturalisation. However, you do not have to take the test if any of the following exceptions apply to you:
- You can provide a completion certificate from a German secondary school or comparable.
- You graduated from a German higher education institution in law or social, political or administrative sciences.
- You are under 16 years old.
- You are unable to fulfil the civic knowledge requirement due to physical, intellectual or mental illness or disability.
How can I prepare for my naturalisation test?
To help you prepare for the naturalisation test, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees provides an interactive list of questions in their online test centre. On this website, you can read through and see the correct answers to all 310 possible questions.
Some Federal States offer courses to help you prepare for the naturalisation test. To find out more about these courses, contact your local citizenship authority.
You could also consider taking an integration course. This is an especially good option if you need to improve or certificate your German ability for your citizenship application, as each integration course consists of a German language course and an orientation course looking at civic life in Germany.
How much does the naturalisation test cost?
You must pay a fee of 25 euros to take the naturalisation test. This is non-refundable even if you do not pass the test.